Focus: Refocus

Stacks of books

Julia Bradshaw, Read, Yellow, Green Book Stacks 67" x 14" Inkjet prints on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag

Focus:Refocus, A Photographic Resurgence, is an exhibition of photography by Steve Anchell, Chris Becerra, Julia Bradshaw, Harrison Branch and Jim Folts, which opens Jan. 14 in Fairbanks Gallery. A reception for the artists will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

Focus:Refocus, A Photographic Resurgence will feature the work of all five OSU art faculty instructors and features a wide-ranging selection of photographic visions. This exhibition marks the reintroduction of the BFA and BA/BS program in photography at OSU. It is anticipated that the revamping of photography as a stand along degree program will enrich the curriculum and could prompt enrollments with the potential to become one of the fastest growing programs in Art.

Photographs from Show Me Your Tattoo!, by Steve Anchell, explores the patterns that have emerged in tattoos and piercings. Anchell considers them as part of our primal culture. He writes, “There is evidence among indigenous tribes that they are often as not used to identify members of one tribe from another; to create a tribal identity. I believe that the rise of the tattoo culture is an unconscious (conscious?) attempt to find ones way back to the tribe; the search for a common identity.”

Anchell is an internationally published artist and author. He has exhibited his work in numerous galleries and public collections. He has published three books, The Darkroom Cookbook, The Variable Contrast Printing Manual, and The Film Developing Cookbook. He is a contributing writer for Rangefinder and Photo Technique magazines, and has written columns, feature articles and interviews for Shutterbug, View Camera, Camera Arts, PIC, and PhotoPro magazines. He is also the former editor of the magazines, Photovision: Art and Technique and Focus Fine Art Photography. As of 2012, Anchell is a new instructor of Art at Oregon State University.

Chris Becerra, who won Oregon Bride Magazine’s Best Wedding Photographer in 2010, has taught at Oregon State University since Spring 2011.  He has also worked as the primary photographer for political campaigns throughout Oregon, California and Montana.  Becerra writes, “When a work is printed there is no place to hide. Every imperfection in the lighting, focus and composition is laid bare for all to see. Having displayed my images primarily in a digital format, I wanted to challenge myself by creating large prints where all the imperfections and mistakes would be visible.”

Julia Bradshaw’s work Read, Yellow, Green explores both photography and books. Her work investigates the rise of the digital age and the transformation of both mediums. Bradshaw writes, “The images question photographic truth-telling and the properties of photography such as what is gained or lost with the conversion of color images to black and white.” She continues, “By creating life-size stacks of books, the images become characters- taking in the traces and characteristics of their readers- and at the same time the impossibly tall stacks of books make uncertain the veracity of photographic images.”

Born in Manchester England, Bradshaw spent nine years living and working in Munich, Germany prior to moving to the United States. These international moves and her background in international project management are the fodder for her creative focus in making artworks that respond to language and cultural exchanges. She received her MFA in photography from San Jose State University in 2007 and works with photography, video and performance. Her works have been exhibited in Germany, the Netherlands and throughout the United States. A recent arrival in Oregon from California, she is assistant professor for photography and video art at Oregon State University.

Harrison Branch focuses on Palladium/Platinum photographs printed as contact prints.  He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and Yale University. Branch has been exhibited nationally, and is included in the collections of the International Center of Photography, NY; Oakland Museum, Oakland, California; and the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France.

Jim Folts’s work shows the artist’s interest in photographing people. He writes, “I like the challenge of attempting to capture people in action, not posed, doing what they actually do. I like the authenticity of the resulting images. But I am equally challenged by the collaborative portrait, where I work with the subject not only to capture their likeness, but also something of their personality, of what makes them a unique human being.”

Folts has been a professional photographer for 40 years. He began his career as a newspaper photographer and magazine freelance photographer. His work has been published in newspapers and national magazines. He is the author of a standard national textbook on the techniques of photography and another on the history of photography. For 40 years he has been a Professor of Art at Oregon State University, teaching ~

~Douglas Russell


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